Jerry Dennis, Personal Essay and Nature Writing

Jerry Dennis has been on the faculty of the Bear River Writers Conference since its inception and has earned his living as a freelance writer for nearly 30 years. His dozen books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, including The Bird in the Waterfall, A Daybreak Handbook, The Windward Shore, and The Living Great Lakes, have appeared on national bestseller lists, have been translated into six languages, and are taught in many universities and high schools. His shorter works have appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian, Orion, Michigan Quarterly Review, PANK, Mid-American Review, and many other publications. Among his awards are the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, the Michigan Author of the Year Award, and the Great Lakes Culture Award.

Workshop: Writing the Sense of Place

Place is a crucial element in many of our greatest books, stories, essays, and poems, yet some writers treat place as if it were mere background. In this workshop we’ll explore ways to capture and evoke the unique sense or “character” of a place, both as a literary form of its own and as a way to instill depth, texture, and authenticity in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Daily writing assignments -- including sketching from observation and writing from memory -- will be shared with the group and discussed, with the goal of completing work suitable for publication.

Jerry Dennis on the Web: